JD Sports Fashion plc and Authentic Brands Group have inked a strategic partnership to expand the Reebok brand across JD’s company-owned operations in North America and Europe.
JD Sports is already a global, multichannel retailer for the Reebok brand, and the arrangement with ABG is both non-exclusive and the first of its kind in the two regions. The Reebok brand will continue to be sold in all current distribution channels, including direct-to-consumer and other wholesale accounts across both North America and Europe.
ABG has been working on signing licensing partners as it gets ready to close on its $2.46 billion deal to purchase Reebok from Adidas, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. The brand management firm has lined up its SPARC Group joint venture—it owns the partnership jointly with mall operator Simon Property Group—as its operating partner. Earlier this month, ABG signed on Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. as its new long-term Reebok licensee to sell Reebok apparel and footwear in branded stores and e-commerce sites serving India, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Current ABG plans include having Reebok continue to operate out of its Boston headquarters, with president Matt O’Toole and senior vice president and general manager for product Todd Krinsky remaining at the helm. The Boston office will now become the global hub for SPARC’s newly created Reebok Design Group (RDG).
The long-term agreement between British sports-fashion retailer and the brand management firm will give JD Sports the ability to carry Reebok-branded apparel and footwear for men, women and children in over 2,850 company-owned stores and e-commerce sites. The agreement also covers all banners under the JD Sports umbrella. These retailers across North America and Europe include JD Sports, Finish Line, DTLR, Shoe Palace, Sprinter and SportZone.
Product will be sourced from RDG, the global brand hub in Boston for design, development and distribution for Reebok and its core product categories to its global partners, according to the brand management firm.
“JD’s expanded support of Reebok as well as their new commitment to carrying the brand in their stores in North America and Europe speaks volumes to the brand’s cultural influence. This partnership solidifies Reebok’s position with an important global retailer,” Jamie Salter, ABG’s founder, chairman and CEO, said.
“Reebok is an iconic global lifestyle brand with strong resonance across all JD channels and we are thrilled to partner with ABG to introduce new and exciting products to our legacy customers and JD’s growing Gen Z audience,” Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, said. “Reebok fits squarely into our sports and active lifestyle verticals, and we look forward to maximizing Reebok’s potential by building on the brand’s incredible heritage.”
JD said it expects the expansion of Reebok’s assortment across its retail banners to begin rolling out in Fall 2022.